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We are breathing poison and eating poison - Editorial

10 December 2012 07:16 pm - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The United Nations climate change conference in Doha ended on Friday with the Kyoto protocol, on carbon emissions being extended. But some of the biggest polluters including the United States, China and India did not give any firm commitment though immediate and effective action needs to be taken to tackle the crisis of air pollution.




According to research, several hundred thousand people in Asia are dying prematurely every year due to causes directly linked to air pollution and respiratory ailments like asthma.

The boom city state of Hong Kong is one of the worst  affected or is choking in its own success. In developed and developing countries including Sri Lanka, much attention is rightly focused on cigarette smoking and the dangers to health. While cigarette advertising has been banned in Sri Lanka and smoking is prohibited in most public places, the Health Minister recently issued a gazette notification directing cigarette manufacturers to print on their packets a picture showing the lung damage caused by smoking. But most middle class smokers may not see this warning because they cannot afford to buy a packet of cigarettes but only one or two at a time.
While these measures in developing countries like Sri Lanka are commendable, we also need to take tougher action against carbon dioxide emissions which are known to be more dangerous to health than cigarette smoking.

Most of us most of the time are breathing poison. To make it worse, most of us are also eating poison – that means vegetables, fruits and other foods polluted by the excessive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Besides this some of the non-essential imported food items  are known to be unfit for human consumption. These items cannot be sold in the rich western countries where they are manufactured, so they are dumped in poor countries like Sri Lanka, and we buy this garbage in the delusion that we are buying some luxury items. Breathing poison and eating poison are the main reasons why most of us are getting sick more often despite all the marvelous discoveries in modern medical technology. That is why hospitals are overcrowded like market places while private hospitals are ranked among the biggest profit-making businesses with four-figure fees for a five-minute consultation with a specialist, the prescription of a bag-load of drugs under highly-expensive brand names and lots of non-essential tests. Often the bill for a person warded in hospital for something like a lung ailment is so high that the patient or a family member might suffer a heart attack.

The pharmaceutical and medical frauds apart, the Government and the people need to act fast in curbing air pollution to prevent thousands of premature deaths. Using more public transport instead of private transport and similar practical steps need to be taken by all who wish save our country from becoming a hell hole.
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  Comments - 1

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  • Kaysee Tuesday, 11 December 2012 09:31 PM

    Is it or not a crime against humanity to pollute the world and abstained from implementing the KYOTO protocol?


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